Saturday, May 2, 2015

Ducky, the Last Dog.

Yesterday was an imporant day for another reason, albeit an incredibly saddening one. Yesterday was my last day volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society, and this pup named Ducky was my last walking partner. He's the last shelter dog I'll be walking for a while, so I wanted to dedicate this post to him.

As I do with all the dogs, I took Ducky on the trail through the woods and around the pond, and everything was swell. But then we rounded the bend and reached the halfway point and boy oh boy.... he knew. Ducky knew we were heading back to the shelter, and he wanted no part of it.

When he first stopped and refused to walk any further,  I thought it was because he was hot and tired. So I sat on a bench while he alternately sat and stretched out. Figured I'd give him a break. After resting for a few minutes, I tried to get him going again, but he just wouldn't.  I tried to get him to follow other dogs passing by with their handlers. I tried repeatedly walking some paces ahead of him and crouching down with my arms outstretched to him so he'd come to me. No such luck. At one point I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get him back indoors at all.

It was just my luck that a certain fellow volunteer came by with her son,  walking another dog together. Turns out they had walked Ducky before, and had dealt with that same stubbornness. They saw how much I was struggling and decided to help me, and with some coaxing and pulling and re-routing, we were finally able to get him back in his kennel. On average, walks through the trail only take about 30 minutes. But I had Ducky out for an entire hour, starting and stopping, starting and stopping.

While I'd been sitting on that bench, a male volunteer passing by with another dog revealed to me that Ducky had been adopted a couple weeks ago, but was returned to the shelter for some reason. No matter how excellent the care is, being in a shelter can be incredibly stressful for any dog. And I'm sure being shuffled to a new home and back didn't make things any easier for Ducky, so I can understand his resistance toward returning at the end of his walk. Poor thing. I hope you find a forever home soon, one where you won't ever be reluctant to go back inside because you're scared.

Thanks for the hour's worth of starting and stopping, Ducky! It was a pleasure to have you as my last dog. And thanks to Capital Area Humane Society for the opportunity to come in and walk dogs every week! It's been a blissful, therapeutic, eye-opening year and a half.

For anyone interested in making Ducky (who is very much adoptable!) a part of your family, please see his profile HERE.

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